Still Learning After All These Years

USF the first Jesuit university recognized as age-friendly

By Annie Breen, USF News Posted Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:12

Today, 45 years after founding a school for students 50 and older, USF has been named an age-friendly university.

“We’re proud to be recognized,” said Associate Professor Erin Grinshteyn. “The age-friendly designation aligns with a grounding principle of USF, which is social justice.”

Dublin City University in Ireland confers the Age Friendly University (AFU) designation on universities that, it says, “enhance the lives of older members of our community through educational programs, curriculum development, online education, health and wellness activities, and civic engagement.”

USF is the first Jesuit institution to earn the AFU badge.

Since 1976, the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF, which describes itself as a “university within the university,” has offered a range of noncredit courses to people aged 50 and older. The institute’s only objective: to support and encourage a lifelong love of learning.

Besides the Fromm Institute, USF’s Interdisciplinary Committee on Aging has since 2003 promoted research and community efforts to support older adults. The committee encouraged the Fromm Institute to offer its intergenerational courses and also championed the gerontology minor.

Grinshteyn, the associate professor in the Master of Public Health program who with student Cameron Grant ’16, MPH ’20 applied for AFU status, said that the AFU designation enables USF to join “a global network of like-minded universities to share ideas and resources.”